A woman was just sentenced to prison for injecting fake Botox at a beauty salon. The woman was charged with “misbranding of a drug and two counts of receipt and delivery of an adulterated device.” This woman was found out after one of her patron’s faces became inflamed and she had to receive plastic surgery for the fake Botox injections. While this news article was scary, another frightening reality remains- real Botox can cause extensive injuries too.
Botox is used to lift, shape, widen, balance and enhance one’s face- from the eyebrows to the jawline. People often try to get rid of their crow’s feet, laugh lines, or other facial or neck creases. In 2004, there were 2,837,346 Botox cosmetic injections. In 2011, it was the top nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in the U.S. for both women and men.
Side Effects of Botox
When Botox is improperly administered, breathing problems, weakness, difficulty swallowing and difficulty speaking can result- and in some unusual cases, death has even occurred. Other side effects include:
- Paralysis of respiratory muscles
- Respiratory infection- aspiration pneumonia
- Flu symptoms
- Droopy eyelids
- Wheezing or asthma
- A rash
- Dry mouth
- Neck pain
- Uneven smile
- Muscle weakness
- Slurred speech
In a few cases, pain in the face, redness and muscle weakness can result. In the past, Allergen, the maker of Botox has faced a host of lawsuits alleging that Botox can cause serious injuries and that the drug is often promoted for unapproved uses.
While there has only been one death alleged to the cosmetic use of Botox, there has been several deaths attributed to it when it has been used for non-cosmetic reasons. According to the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, Botox caused 28 deaths between 1989 and 2003.
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In 2007, a woman died of respiratory failure after receiving seven injections of therapeutic strength Botox, a stronger derivative of Botox Cosmetic. Nonetheless, a jury ruled that Allergen was not the cause of this woman’s death. When asked if Botox could kill you, a spokesperson for Botox once said, “Generally speaking, I’d say no. But there have been rare instances where Botox may have played a role.”
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One patient warned about the side effects of Botox by writing, “It has been 5 days since I was injected and as I write this, my heart is racing, the left side of my face is numb and tingly, and I have muscle weakness and extreme anxiety. Almost immediately after being injected for the first time, I swelled up with bumps on the injection sites, turned red and was sensitive to the touch, at each injection location. I also felt sick to my stomach, tired, weak and could not eat. I also had a taste in the back of my throat, like the Botox was coming down my sinuses or something of that nature.”